PREVIEW: 2012 Animated Features

Let’s ring in the new year with a look ahead at the animated features of 2012. The animated feature glass was half-full last year. Whereas in 2010, five of the top ten highest-grossing features in the US were animated, last year only one animated film ranked in the US top 10–Cars 2. Around the world, however, animation fared better in 2011, earning 3 of the top 10 spots at the global box office (and if you count The Smurfs, four of the top ten).

Our 2011 list focuses primarily on films set for release in the United States, but we’ve also rounded it out with a few foreign films. Of course, we’ll be covering dozens of other foreign and indie feature productions throughout the year, but even with the films below, 2012 is already looking like a decent year. If you know of other must-see animated films this year, please let us know in the comments.

LIST OF 2012 FEATURES BY SCHEDULED RELEASE DATE

The Secret World of Arriety
The Clock family are four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family’s residence, borrowing simple items to make their home. Life changes for the Clocks when their daughter, Arrietty, is discovered.

Release Date: 2/17
Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Production Company: Studio Ghibli
Distributor: Walt Disney
Technique: hand-drawn
Voice Cast: Bridgit Mendler, Amy Poehler and Will Arnett
Film Website

Plenty more films after the jump


Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
A 12-year-old boy searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world.

Release Date: 3/2
Directors: Chris Renaud, Kyle Balda
Production Company: Illumination
Distributor: Universal
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Danny DeVito
Film Website


The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Pirate Captain sets out on a mission to defeat his rivals Black Bellamy and Cutlass Liz for the Pirate of the year Award. The quest takes Captain and his crew from the shores of Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London.

Release Date: 3/30
Directors: Peter Lord, Jeff Newitt
Production Company: Aardman Animation
Label: Sony Animation
Distributor: Columbia
Technique: clay stop-mo
Voice Cast: Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Piven
Film Website


Le Magasin des Suicides (The Suicide Shop)
Based on a bestselling book by Jean Teulé, it’s a black comedy about a family that runs a suicide supply shop in a dreary town. The family’s business is threatened when a new baby arrives who makes everyone around him happy.

Release Date: 5/16 (France/Belgium), 6/14 (Netherlands)
Directors: Patrice LeConte
Production Company: Diabolo Films (France), La Petite Reine, Entre Chien et Loup (Belgique) and Caramel Films (Canada)
Distributor: ARP Sélection
Technique: hand-drawn, cut-out


Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe and Gloria the Hippo join a traveling circus in an effort to get back home to New York.

Release Date: 6/8
Director: Eric Darnell
Production Company: Dreamworks
Distributor: Paramount
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer, Chris Rock, Sascha Baron Cohen
Film Website


Brave
Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse.

Release Date: 6/22
Directors: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
Production Company: Pixar
Studio: Pixar
Distributor: Disney
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson
Film Website


Ice Age: Continental Drift
Manny, Diego, and Sid embark upon another adventure after their continent is set adrift. Using an iceberg as a ship, they encounter sea creatures and battle pirates as they explore a new world.

Release Date: 7/13
Directors: Steve Martino, Mike Thurmeier
Production Company:
Studio: Blue Sky
Distributor: 20th Century-Fox
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo
Film Website


The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki

Okami kodomo no ame to yuki (The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki)
From the director of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars, the story of a college student named Hana who marries a “wolf man” and gives birth to two wolf children. When the wolf man dies, Hana and the children move from the city to a quiet rural town.

Release Date: July (Japan)
Directors: Mamoru Hosoda
Production Company: Studio Chizu, Madhouse
Distributor: TOHO
Technique: Hand-drawn
Film Website


ParaNorman
A misunderstood boy who can speak with the dead, takes on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse.

Release Date: 8/17
Directors: Chris Butler, Sam Fell
Production Company: Laika
Distributor: Focus Features
Technique: Stop-Motion
Voice Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Film Website


Hotel Transylvania
Dracula, who operates a high-end resort away from the human world, goes into overprotective mode when a boy discovers the resort and falls for the count’s teen-aged daughter.

Release Date: 9/21
Director: Genndy Tartakovsky
Production Company: Sony Animation
Distributor: Columbia
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Andy Samberg
Film Website


Frankenweenie
Young Victor conducts a science experiment to bring his beloved dog Sparky back to life, only to face unintended, sometimes monstrous, consequences.

Release Date: 10/5
Director: Tim Burton
Production Company: Walt Disney
Distributor: Disney
Technique: stop-motion
Voice Cast: Winona Ryder, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short
Film Website


Wreck-It Ralph
The bad-guy character in a classic game who longs to be a hero brings trouble to his entire arcade after sneaking into a new first-person shooter game and unleashing a deadly enemy.

Release Date: 11/2
Director: Rich Moore
Production Company: Walt Disney Feature Animation
Distributor: Disney
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: John C. Reilly, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch


Rise of the Guardians
Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Jack Frost and the Sandman band together to form a united front against the Bogeyman.

Release Date: 11/21
Director: Peter Ramsey, William Joyce
Production Company: Dreamworks
Distributor: Paramount
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin, Isla Fisher
Film Website


These six films have no release date set yet, but will be ready for release in 2012

Dorothy of Oz
Back in Kansas, Dorothy Gale decides to return to Oz in order to help her friends.

Director: Will Finn, Dan St. Pierre
Production Company: Summertime Entertainment
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Lea Michele, Patrick Stewart, Hugh Dancy
Film Website


Escape from Planet Earth
Astronaut Scorch Supernova finds himself caught in a trap when he responds to an SOS from a notoriously dangerous alien planet.

Director: Callan Brunker
Production Company: Blue Yonder Films
Distributor: Weinstein Company
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Jessica Alba, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brendan Fraser
Film Website


Norm of the North
Displaced from their Arctic home, a polar bear named Norm and his three lemming friends wind up in New York City, where Norm becomes the mascot of a corporation he soon learns is tied to the fate of his homeland.

Director: Anthony Bell
Production Company: RichCrest Animation
Distributor: Lionsgate
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Ken Jeong, Rob Schneider, Zachary Gordon
Film Press Release


Cheech & Chong’s Animated Movie
Cheech & Chong’s Animated Movie is a film based on Cheech and Chong’s classic Grammy award winning albums.

Director: Branden Chambers, Eric D. Chambers
Technique: Flash
Voice Cast: Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong
Official Facebook Page


Ribbit

Ribbit
“The tale of a frog with an identity crisis..”

Director: Chuck Powers
Technique: CGI
Voice Cast: Sean Astin, Tim Curry
Production company: KRU Studios (Malaysia)
Official Facebook page


A Liar's Autobiography

A Liar’s Autobiography
Based on the memoirs of deceased Monty Python member Graham Chapman. Fifteen different UK animation companies will be contributing animated segments to the film. The film will receive a theatrical release in the UK in Spring 2012, and shown on the EPIX HD channel in the US.

Director: Bill Jones, Ben Timlett, Jeff Simpson
Production Company: Bill and Ben Productions
Voice Cast: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam
Film Website


  • Chris Webb

    Man, that’s a lot of movies.

  • David Nethery

    Thanks for the list.

    A few comments:

    Under “Frankenweenie” you have the technique listed as “CG” , but the film is Stop-Motion .

    The technique for “The Secret World of Arriety” is listed as “anime” , but then for “The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki” the technique is listed as “hand drawn” . Why the difference ? “Anime” isn’t really a technique per se.

    • The Brewmasters

      Thanks for pointing these out, David. Changes have been made.

  • http://she-thing.blogspot.com Caty

    Def loads of treats… can’t wait!!!!!

  • Shenaniganza

    Chortled at the use of the polar bear from that hockey videogame intro. A true animated classic.

  • J.M.

    I did not know anything about this WRECK IT RALPH deal, it actually don´t feel like a movie concept that the house of mouse would turn into a feature, I did a little search and found this tho.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gxa_p_tULyE

  • Rhett Marks

    Quite a list. I’d actually be interested in seeing how the Sylvester and Tweety one works today. The “Monty Python” seems like a natural in terms of script and themes. I fear different animation houses contributing when there isn’t an already known figure helping to keep the different style changes connected.
    “Wreck it Ralph” sounds like all the elements are there, but for a Disney production? A nostalgia for “classic arcade” games sounds like one side-factor in a larger picture (like within a “Toy Story”) than it’s own feature. But willing to see if just for that factor.
    While I miss short-form Tartakovsky, whatever he does is animation-interesting, but “Hotel Translyvania” sounds kind of obvious and flat so far, and Adam Sandler with Kevin James makes me feel I know what to expect of the characters. Unlike “Norm of the North” which sounds interesting basically for hearing what will Ken Jeong and Rob Schneider be like.
    As for “The Suicide Shop” – isn’t that atmosphere basically pervading most Belgian films and animation? Naming it so directly seems close to parody.
    Sequel-wise, the whole beauty of “Ice Age” was it’s simple, pared down first feature. It expanded with time, but now even the poster seems bloated with characters and late references (pirates now? What’s next, vampires and werewolves?).
    “Madagascar”- I think the Penguins side-project was the logical result to come off of that. Fast, great script/language and funny tv averaging 12 min or so. These remaining Madagascar-feature characters remind me of a band with far too big aspirations (think double-lp albums) now relying on their few, old, trademark licks and a lot of guests, and that’s because the scene-stealer side-members left to form a tighter unit, giving themselves constraints that allowed more focus and ultimately produced a richer body of work still going after the contemporary, urban (and pop culture references) feel. The travelling circus sounds pretty familiar…
    As for “Cheech and Chong”, wasn’t this already done and failed then too? Just animating their really OLD comedy albums won’t cut it. They already made a huge guest appearance on the Simpsons, and were “roasted” and so on. That seems to have been the moment to catch the wave, if there were one, rather than this obviously manufactured one. Even during the “slacker / stoner” era movies they weren’t referenced.
    “Rise of the Guardians” plot, there have been really some versions of this in cartoons, including in stalwarts like “Fairly Odd Parents.” What’s going to be different, and with that non-descript character.

  • tedzey

    I like this list better than last years. There’s certainly more variety. Last year was mostly sequels.

  • Baron Lego

    I’m waiting for the Ice Age movie where the characters are frozen and wake up in modern day- given how much they’re milking the franchise (I came across the TV Christmas special last month where the cast meets prehistoric Santa Claus) said story is almost an inevitability.

    • Snouth

      I believe that was supposed to be Ice Age 4, but they changed the story entirely. I MYSELF would love to see them extinct.

  • http://www.filmbuffonline.com Rich D

    RISE OF THE GUARDIANS sounds like a fairy-tale version of the great comic LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN. Hopefully, it won’t turn out to be as bad as the LEGAUE movie adaption was.

    • Snouth

      It’s actually based on a recently-started series of children’s books by William Joyce (Rolie Polie Olie, Robots, Meet The Robinsons).

      • J.M.

        I wonder why isn´t his studio (MOONBOT) making the picture then.

      • skeptical

        William Joyce has two features currently in production: Rise of the Guardians at DreamWorks, and Leafmen at Blue Sky. I think the deals for both those films were made several years ago, before Moonbot was formed. Moonbot seems to be taking the logical path of starting with short films/apps and working up from there.

    • Michael F.

      Sounds weird but maybe it’ll work. At least I hope it does, it sounds like a childhood fantasy come true.

      • The Gee

        Okay. I thought that was a sequel to the Guardians of the Gobbledygook, or whatever the movie about owls is called.

        Yes. It made no sense that was a sequel to that movie but whatever.

        Though, now that I think about it too much, if those silly, mythical characters teamed up to fight the Bogeyman’s giant monster owls then it sounds like a hoot.

  • Pieter

    Especially looking forward to the Pirates-film and Frankenweenie!

  • Toonio

    Holy cow, I’ll bring extra padding to the movies.

    The two I really want to see are Frankenwenie and Paranorman.

    Halloween it’s making a big comeback in animation.

    And seems like Ribbit is CGI technique.

  • http://patricechampigny.blogspot.com/ Patrice

    What pleases me is that there are a variety in the techniques for each films, including hand drawn. The disapointment is that there no hand drawn films by westerners. Maybe you can add the re-release of beauty and the beast? That has to count for something, right?

    On another note, the lack of features by Canadians is tragic, we have the talent, why can’t we add to the comepetion?

    Happy new year everyone!

    • http://woweh.com Kelly

      It’s because Stephen Harper won’t give us the money for it. ;)
      Seriously though, I hear you. I really wish there were more Canadian pictures coming out.

  • http://armorman.deviantart.com Bill Perry

    I went through most of the videos and the preproduction art for Dorothy of Oz….

    Immediate thoughts:

    China cups and plates? C’mon the Emerald City designs look pretty good and this is the best you could come up with for China County? Lame.

    The female voices are already grating and I haven’t seen any finished footage.

    Wow. Dorothy sings to a chick….that’s original…not like Disney, Dreamworks and every other studio hasn’t had a heroine sing to a bird at some point.

    Martin Short attached to a movie does not fill me with optimism. He seems like a really nice guy, but….I hope this does help his career (seriously).

    They’re shooting this in 3D….so are we going to get 2D B&W when she’s in Kansas (that would be kind of cool) and 3D color when she’s in Oz?

    Sorry to be so negative on the second day of the new year.

  • Daniel J. Drazen

    I was hoping “Song of the Sea” would be listed. Is there any further news of it?

    • http://lifeincartoonmotion.org Tünde

      When I was at a presentation of Song of the Sea at Anima festival last year, they said it’d take another 4 years or so for the film to be completed. Looking forward to that film myself too, loved the style of Brendan :)

  • http://moo-cartoon.blogspot.com MooCartoon

    I did a break down of some 2012 animated films and my thoughts on them so far on my blog. Check it out: http://moo-cartoon.blogspot.com/2011/12/2012-animation-apocalypse-or.html

  • The Gee

    If she’s borrowing that finger to pick her nose, that movie could be hilarious.

    Any other promo still than that one would probably be disappointing.

    On a serious note, it looks like a surprisingly diverse slate. And, I guess three sequels are better than mostly sequels.

  • Jim

    Wow, looks like it’s going to be a GREAT year for animation!! I’m looking forward to seeing over half of those movies.

  • Snouth

    Looks to be a slightly better year for animated films despite there still being a lot of sequels.

    Norm sounds like the Coca-Cola movie… in fact, Coca-Cola is currently running a polar bear endangerment awareness campaign!

  • JMatte

    I recently read that a “A Monster In Paris” (“Un Monstre à Paris”) will be released in February, at least in Quebec.
    The only link-proof I can provide at the moment is for the Cinema Montreal site, announcing its release for February 24th (just scroll down):
    http://www.cinemamontreal.com/Montreal-films-a-venir.html
    I don’t have other infos, unfortunately, about a possible wider distribution. Just rumours.

    As for all the other movies, I’ll do my best to see them all. They all have a something that will be interesting to see, be it in their techniques or how they will tell their stories.

    • The Brewmasters

      JMatte – “A Monster in Paris” was a 2011 film as it’s already been released in France: see HERE. We tried to limit the list to new films that are premiering this year, not roll-outs of older films.

      • m(_ _)m

        In that case, Arrietty was released in Japan during the summer of 2010.

      • JMatte

        Arriety was also released in Europe last year. I guess that threw me off a bit.
        Still, if anyone has dates for “A Monster In Paris” US releases, it would be great to know.

  • top cat james

    I like that Burton used the design of the titular mutt of “Family Dog” for Victor’s pooch.

    • Harry T.

      I like that Burton worked for Brad Bird and designed the Family Dog characters (though they were augmented by Chris Buck and David Cutler).

    • http://MBCraigMyLivesandTime/blogspot.com Mitchell Craig

      If memory serves, Burton did some design work on the original “Family Dog” short, so it’s not that far a stretch.

    • http://ryanrosendal.blogspot.com Ryan

      The new stop-motion Frankenweenie puppet is very similar to Burton’s original design for the dog in the 1980s short.

  • Deaniac

    And only 2 of them are sequels. Fantastic.

    Looking foward to Brave, Pirates: Band of Misfits, ParaNorman, and The Lorax more than anything. Wreck-It Ralph and Hotel Transylvania sound promising as well but I’ll hold off on those until I see some trailers.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/floydbishop FloydBishop

    It looks like there are some good ones, and some probable duds, but it’s great to see so many animated features in one year.

  • Michael F.

    A Cheech and Chong animated movie? Sounds like fun, man.

    Also, nice to see that there is some more variety in these movies. I’m particularly looking forward to Brave, Frankenweeine and Paranorman; I like the idea of animation going a little darker without trying to sell out. We need more films like that. The fact that there’s actual variety in the animation outside of CG is a plus too. Nice to see lots of stop-motion films on the list and even some hand drawn ones even if they probably will be limited release in the states (if they come here at all in some cases).

    However, Norm of the North has an interesting idea to it but I’m not sure about the way it’ll be executed. The fish out of water in NYC bit needs something new for it if it’s going to work. Also, the fact that Rob Schneider and Ken Jeong are involved hurts.

    • Joe G

      In my opinion the Cheech and Chong movie should just be made as a tv series.

  • Mike

    This looks much more promising than last year’s list! Especially looking forward to the three(!) stop-motion films (particularly Pirates!) and Hotel Transylvania, which I’d forgotten about!

  • what_in_the_cel

    Genndy is directing Hotel Transylvania? How come this isn’t getting more noise?

    • http://www.animehell.org danno

      Because Adam Sandler?

  • http://ryanrosendal.blogspot.com Ryan

    Lots of great stuff coming this year.

    “Wreck-It Ralph” is probably my most anticipated one. I mean, a Disney movie directed by Rich Moore? How could I not be excited?

    I also can’t wait for the trio of stop-motion features. All three look wonderfully inventive and fun. And “Frankenweenie” is in black and white!

  • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto

    I’m especially interested in Wreck It Ralph and Hotel Transylvania. I hope the Adam Sandler factor doesn’t ruin Tartakovsky’s directorial debut.

    ParaNorman, Guardians and Pirates! are looking good too, and of course Brave, though I feel it won’t surprise me much.

  • Go Genndy!

    I’m really excited for Hotel Transylvania. Tartakovsky is a wonderful director and I bet he’s going to give animated features a big kick in the pants with this film. Craig Kellman is also on board doing character design so that’s a sweet bonus.

    I’m also looking forward to seeing Brave and Wreck-it Ralph.

  • Sant Arellano

    Go Mamoru Hosoda!!

  • Brian Marshall

    I am definitely NOT seeing that Cheech and Chong animated movie. I watched the trailer for it and it looks terrible! I guess Tommy Chong needed the money to pay off what’s left of his legal fees. That’s the only reason I can think of for this.

  • Scarabim

    Is that Wreck-It-Ralph’s actual face in the logo?

    Because if it is, um…he looks heck of a lot like the Heat Miser. http://www.thepunkguy.com/music/Heatmiser.bmp

  • Steve Menke

    Patrice Leconte (lower-case “c”) has had a long-standing presence in U.S. arthouse fare since the late 1980s, including “Monsieur Hire,” “The Hairdresser’s Husband,” “The Girl on the Bridge,” and “The Man on the Train.” Interesting to hear he’s applied his other life as a cartoonist to “The Suicide Shop.” Hope that will at least get a pay-per-view release in the states.

  • http://www.hobsonanimation.com Kevin

    What I’m looking forward to the most:
    1. Brave
    2. Pirates! Band of Misfits
    3. Paranorman
    4. Frankenweeine

    The Lorax, I don’t know how to feel. I’m just more used to version directed by Chuck Jones because it felt more closer to what Dr. Seuss intended.

    Dorthy of Oz, seems good. I do want to see it. I’m just not sure if it’ll be closer to the books, the first film, or Wicked. Just please no pop-culture jokes.

    The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki, I love Mamoru Hosoda’s work!

    Ice Age 4, …. pirates? Really?

    Madagascar 3, looks really funny. I’m just hoping it’ll leave more of an impact than the 2nd one.

    Wreck-It Ralph, I’m hoping is good. Ralph does look like Heat Miser and the Hulk combined.

  • DB

    Wow – the color design in that shot from the Lorax is stunningly beautiful and seems to strike a great balance between 3-dimensionality and cartoonishness – hope the rest of the film is as good.

  • Andrew Kieswetter

    There’s also Goro Miyazaki’s Ghbli feature ‘From Up on Poppy Hill’. Although I don’t know when it’ll be released in the US.

    • http://www.ghiblicon.blogspot.com Daniel Thomas MacInnes

      When it comes to Disney, we never know if anything by Studio Ghibli will ever be released here. It’s like pulling teeth just to get something swept under the rug. It’s especially frustrating when you see how far behind the rest of the world we Americans are.

      At least Arrietty will be put on a couple movie screens, so that’s good.

  • http://thatssokraven.com/ Kelly Tindall

    Thrilled that there’s new Ghibli, Aardman, and Laika to be had this year. That’s a bounty and I’m tremendously excited for all of ‘em.

  • http://www.kayshapero.net/FredPatten/fred.html Fred Patten

    Another coming-in-2012 foreign animated feature that looks promising is “Koochie Koochie Hota Hai”. Here is its trailer in English; the film is in Hindi. http://bollywood.celebden.com/2010/02/koochie-koochie-hota-hai-theatrical-trailer/

  • tomm

    in addition to these I’m really excited about Ernest and Celestine from Les Armateurs, Aunty Hilda from Folimage and a French/belgian/Luxembourg co-pro called The Day of the crows – all threes are beautifully drawn but Ernest and Celestine is something really fresh and special I think..

  • TIgerSweet

    I’m feeling all of them except for The Secret World of Arriety (which is basically The Littles from the 80s now on the big screen), The Pirates, Madagascar 3, Ice Age 4 and the last 4 in the list. Can’t wait for Brave!

  • Jabberwocky

    I saw the Japanese version of Arietty; it was a solid film, but I think the US studios are once again mis-marketing it (there is not *nearly* as much adventure as the English trailer pretends) so it probably won’t do very well.

    I’m very excited for Pirates!, ParaNorman, and Brave, and I’d be interested to see ‘The Wolf Children’ too. The ‘Suicide Family’ looks really intriguing too, although probably it is too dark and weird to get released here. :/

  • Felix.H

    Not sure if this man has the credibility to be on the list or not
    but animator M DOT STRANGE is releasing his new feature
    “Heart string marionette” , a lovely 121 minute cgi film online
    for free in the next few weeks.
    http://youwilldieinside.blogspot.com/
    It’s an alternative distribution method but i still think it stands with some of the
    others,personally.

  • Glowworm

    Pirates, Brave and ParaNorman as well as The Secret World of Arietty are on my high priority list. Yet one question still lingers on my mind–when on earth is “A Monster in Paris” going to make its American debute? I’ve been hungering for it ever since I first heard of it last year.

  • Crystal

    I”m definitely gonna see Pirates, Paranorman and Frankenweenie–I’m scared if all 3 flop, then we’re screwed when it comes to more stop-motion animation.

    I wanna be excited for Hotel Transylvania, since Tartakovsky’s work is amazing, but . . . . I feel like they’re not letting him use his talents. I mean, I felt like Sym-Bionic Titan was something fresh in television animation, but this movie is a CGI Comedy with celebrity voices . . . just like NEARLY EVERY ANIMATED MOVIE BEING RELEASED NOWADAYS. I’m sure Genndy would rather use experienced VAs since he voice directed most of his cartoons. And it’s from the same studio that brought us the Smurfs . . . but also the one that brought us Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs? I don’t know whether to see it or not, I wish it was traditional or stop-motion with actual voice actors.

    I’m probably gonna go see Brave, would love to see more female protagonists in fiction that isn’t “girly.” Probably gonna see Arriety for the sake of 2D animation. It looks pretty cute. The poster for Hosoda’s next movie looks pretty cool, his other 2 films were enjoyable.

    Rise of the Guardians . . . the main character has a cool character design, the film looks like it could go in the vein of Dreamworks’ more mature path (like KFP and HTTYD), but like with most of these movies, does it really need that many celebrity voices? I feel like the excessive use of them is killing a lot of animated movies for me. I’m sure they don’t really make more people go see the film.

    I’m planning on seeing the 3 stop-motion, Arriety, and Hosoda’s film if it’s released in the US this year. HT, RotG and the Monty Python one is a “maybe.” If I hear good things about the others, maybe I’ll see them, but I feel like if I give money to CGI/celebrity voices, then I’m encouraging them to keep making them.

  • Barbara Novak

    What happened to THE CROODS, did it get pushed back?

  • Jeff

    Arguably not in the exact same genre, what ever happened to “The Power of ZHU” Kung Zhu movie? It is animated, the earlier Zhu release was very good quality and is still being watched in our house after several months.

  • tf

    “Escape from Planet Earth” is being done by Rainmaker Entertainment – in Canada. It has nothing to do with Blue Yonder – whoever they are.